More than 800 guests gathered on Sunday, July 28th to watch La Estrella Singing Competition Finals at Panorama Mall sponsored by LatinoLA.com, ESPN Deportes Radio and TMG/Universal. The event was hosted by Francisco Verdin "La Voz del Valle" and featured San Fernando Valley's DJ No System on the turntables.
In the previous weeks, rotating judges from the three previous elimination rounds watched and scored up to 10 contestants each day based on musical talent, appearance, audience interaction and overall performance. Four were selected each week to proceed to the finals.
Returning judges at the finals from last year's series included Abelardo de la Pe??a Jr. (LatinoLA.com), Reyna Trevino (TMG/Universal) and Dr. Anthony Luu (USC School of Music) and Nancy Ramirez Flores (Mariachi Aztlan de San Fernando).
The event began with a grand introduction featuring Mariachi Palmeros de Panorama Mall and their new Panorama Mall branded uniforms. Six semi-finalists performed followed by a Bachata performance by Jarek and Melanie (dancers) and upcoming singer Angelica Silva. Silva already made a surprise appearance at the kick-off event several weeks ago and was loved by everyone.
Following another six contestants, guests enjoyed special performances from TMG/Universal and Trevino PR artists Gabriel Boyer aka Gaby Boy, Cindy Ortega and Desiree Estrada. Gabriel Boyer pleased the crowd with two numbers, "El Menea" and "El Feo Esta el Moda,' backed by DJ and dancers. Cindy Ortega, whose music benefits the fight for cancer through organizations like Kids Cures, performed "Amor a la Mexicana" by Thalia backed by percussion and guitar and her new single "Lo Lograre". Desiree Estrada recently performed at the International Bachata Festival in Dominican Republic treated guests to bilingual Bachata tunes "Don't Speak" by No Doubt and "Illusionada."
When the votes were tabulated Milka Aguilera (pictured) took first place, Javier Hernandez took second and Wanda Hernadez came in third. Milka performed "Te Voy a Olvidar" by Juan Gabriel, Javier Hernandez mesmerized the crowd with "Mi Humilde Oracion" by Luis Miguel and Wanda Hernandez selected the late Jenni Rivera's "Que Me Vas a Dar".
The winners received a $1,000, $750 and $500 shopping spree respectively and took time to pose with their new friends, fans and family members. Joman Wong, Senior Marketing Manager, for Macerich (Panorama Mal commented, "My team is proud of all the contestants in the series, including returning singers. So many shined but faced tough competitors. We encourage them to practice and prepare for next time. Special thanks to LatinoLa.com, TMG/Universal, ESPN Deportes Radio and the event team for another successful and memorable event. Abelardo de la Pena adds, "Last year's finals were good, this year's much better. The talent of the singers and the enthusiasm of the audience made for an exciting event that Panorama Mall should be proud of."